Mike Huckabee’s decision to stay out of the Republican presidential race may have been a blow to some conservatives. But to the GOP establishment in Iowa, where Huckabee roundly defeated Mitt Romney in the 2008 caucuses, Huckabee’s move was a blessing in disguise, Politico reports.
That’s because a Huckabee candidacy would have made him a strong favorite to win the state again, keeping more mainstream Republicans like Mitt Romney from making a serious effort in Iowa.
The broader worry of the establishment is that control of the caucuses by strong conservatives would diminish Iowa’s importance as the first primary/caucus state in the nation.
“If somebody catches fire in Iowa and then goes nowhere else, man, it’s awfully tough to make the case for anyone to come back here,” Christopher Rants, former speaker of the Iowa House says.
“If somebody like [Rick] Santorum or [Herman] Cain wins, I think we become irrelevant in the future.”
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